This is a collection of nearly 300 evenings of modern square dancing, recorded live at the events. The reel-to-reel tapes were part of the collection of the Square Dance Foundation of New England and were digitized into mp3 format to save on bandwidth. Thanks to Jim Mayo and John Wedge from SDFNE for digitizing these many hours of recordings. Most of the files come from the 1950s through the 1980s. The collection includes many well-known New England callers (e.g., Al Brundage) as well as others from elsewhere in the U.S. (e.g., Pancho Baird, Les Gotcher). This is a good representation of the traveling callers from the first 50 years of MWSD.
March 18, 2019 Subject:
Square Dance Recordings - Wealth of Information
This is an amazing collection of square dance history. For square dancers it provides a way to hear famous callers of the past and experience the progression of Modern Western Square Dancing over the years. For the square dance caller it provides a way to see square dance theory in action. How were the dances planned, how did the caller interact with the dancers, how were dances taught, how were the calls timed. It also provides a wealth of proven material that callers can use at their dances today. One can also observe the development of square dance music. The early recordings from the sixties use a lot of the same patter records as not much patter music was available. Later the music becomes more varied. Some of the music was live, for example the guitar tunes of Dick Leger and the accordion music of Joe Lewis. There is even an after party with Pancho and Marie Baird. In the Bob Brundage interviews available on line from the Square Dance Foundation of New England
one can learn from the interviews a callers ideas and philosophy. From these recordings one gets a glimpse of that caller in action.
Each recording contains around 18 tunes, of which about half are patter and half are singing calls. At present the Internet Archive does not provide a way to find out the titles of the singing calls or information about the patter. An experimental index to some of the recordings which contains this information is provided currently (03/18/2019) at http://newsquaremusic.com/sortinternetarchiveindex.html .